Things couldn't have gone better for Scott to start the season, as it bolted out to an 8-0 record, including five Cardinal Conference wins.
The Skyhawks, in fact, were ranked No. 1 in the initial Class AA state poll of the season. But since then, it's been downhill, and in a hurry.
Scott dropped its next four games by a total of 15 points to Tolsia, Poca, Hoover and Wyoming East - three ranked opponents and a Huskies team that just might crack the ratings sometime this season.
"We talked to the boys,'' said Skyhawks coach Nick Cabell, "and told them we need to do a little soul-searching. They were talking the whole way home on the bus [from Hoover] about what they need to do, to play harder defense - especially in the opening half.
"We haven't been performing typically the last few games, and we have to play through these times. They're young, but that's no excuse, You can't take plays off. You've got to do something to change it.''
Scott bounced back with a victory over Nicholas County on Friday.
The last decade hasn't been kind to Riverside, but that could be changing this season.
The Warriors (6-8) have already captured more wins than they did during three of their last six seasons, and two of their losses this season were competitive against state-ranked Class AAA opponents South Charleston (by six points) and Huntington (seven points).
Second-year coach Dusty Herscher can see the improvement coming.
"Against a team like this, Riverside has usually gotten blown out,'' he said following a 59-52 setback to Huntington, a game the Warriors led at halftime. "In the past, Riverside would have gotten down and laid down and let this team beat them by 25, 30 points. But they're playing harder.''
Riverside hasn't won as many as 10 games in a season since 2005-06 (when it went 10-13) and hasn't posted a winning season since a 16-7 mark in 2002-03.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.